2023 World Press Freedom Index – journalism threatened by fake content industry

The 21st edition of the World Press Freedom Index, compiled annually by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), sheds light on major and often radical changes linked to political, social and technological upheavals. According to the 2023 World Press Freedom Index – which evaluates the environment for journalism in 180 countries and territories and is published on World Press Freedom Day (3 May) – the situation is “very serious” in 31 countries, “difficult” in 42, “problematic” in 55, and “good” or “satisfactory” in 52 countries. In other words, the environment for journalism is “bad” in seven out of ten…Read more

Pakistani journalist Gohar Wazir abducted, allegedly electrocuted

Pakistan authorities must conduct an immediate and impartial investigation into the abduction and alleged electrocution of journalist Gohar Wazir and hold the perpetrators to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday. At around 4 p.m. on April 19, five unidentified men abducted Wazir, a reporter for the privately owned Pashto-language broadcaster Khyber News and head of the National Press Club Bannu journalists association, from a market in the city of Bannu, in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to news reports, a statement by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a nongovernmental organization, and a person…Read more

Zambian ruling party supporters attack 3 journalists

Zambian authorities should thoroughly investigate the recent assaults of three journalists and one radio station employee in separate incidents involving ruling party supporters and ensure that those responsible are held to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday. Around noon on April 8, in the eastern district of Petauke, six supporters of the ruling United Party for National Development went to the office of privately owned broadcaster Radio Explorer and assaulted reporter Charles Chimwemwe Banda, according to news reports and the journalist, who communicated with CPJ via messaging app. His attackers accused him of collaborating…Read more

Nigerian journalists Gidado Yushau and Alfred Olufemi convicted of conspiracy, defamation

The conviction of Nigerian journalists Gidado Yushau and Alfred Olufemi on conspiracy and defamation charges sends a chilling message to the Nigerian press and highlights the urgent need for authorities to reform the country’s laws and ensure journalism is not criminalized, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday.  On February 7, a magistrate court in Nigeria’s southern Kwara State convicted Yushau, publisher of the privately owned website News Digest, and freelance reporter Olufemi of criminal defamation and conspiracy, according to a copy of the judgment reviewed by CPJ and phone interviews with the…Read more

Sierra Leone journalist Alie Melvin Tokowa beaten while filming political dispute

Sierra Leone authorities should thoroughly investigate the recent attack on journalist Alie Melvin Tokowa and hold the perpetrators to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday. On March 28, a group of about seven people kicked, choked, and beat Tokowa, manager of radio broadcaster FOP 89.7FM Moyamba, as he attempted to cover an event by the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party in the southern district of Moyamba, according to the journalist, who spoke to CPJ by phone, and a statement by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, a local trade group. The attackers, whom…Read more

CPJ calls on Bangladesh authorities to cease harassing staff of Prothom Alo newspaper

Bangladesh authorities must immediately drop all investigations into the staff of the Prothom Alo newspaper in retaliation for its work and allow its employees to do their jobs freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday. In the early morning of Wednesday, March 29, authorities arrested Prothom Alo correspondent Shamsuzzaman Shams under the Digital Security Act for allegedly spreading “false news” in a March 26 article. On Wednesday evening, authorities in the capital city of Dhaka opened another DSA investigation into Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman, Shams, an unnamed camera operator at the outlet, and…Read more

Bangladeshi journalist Mamunur Rashid Nomani faces hearing over Digital Security Act charges

Police in Bangladesh’s southern city of Barisal should immediately drop all charges against journalist Mamunur Rashid Nomani and allow him to report without fear of reprisal, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday. Nomani, chief news editor of the privately owned newspaper The Daily Shahnama and editor of the Barisal Khabar news website, is due in court on April 4 to face charges against him and two others under two sections of the Digital Security Act stemming from a 2020 case, according to the journalist, who spoke with CPJ by phone, and a copy…Read more

At least 28 journalists harassed, beaten, denied access while covering Nigerian state elections

Nigerian authorities should thoroughly investigate incidents involving at least 28 journalists and media workers being harassed and attacked while covering state elections and hold the perpetrators to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday.  At least 28 members of the press were obstructed, harassed, or attacked while covering gubernatorial and state assembly elections across Nigeria on March 18 and 19, according to news reports and journalists who spoke with CPJ. “Nigerian authorities should swiftly identify and hold accountable those responsible for the recent attacks, harassment, and intimidation of journalists covering state elections…Read more

Maldives parliament considers amendment restricting journalists’ coverage of elections

Maldives legislators should reject or revise a recently proposed legislative amendment restricting journalists’ ability to cover elections, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday. On Monday, March 13, the Maldives parliament opened debate regarding an amendment to the country’s General Elections Act proposed in mid-February by a lawmaker with the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party, which would allow only journalists working for media outlets registered with the government and approved by the Election Commission to report from voting and vote-counting sites on election days, according to multiple news reports and Ahmed Naif, secretary-general of the Maldives Journalists Association,…Read more

Zambian police briefly detain 2 Millennium TV journalists covering protest

Zambian authorities should refrain from detaining members of the press and should ensure journalists can cover protests without fear of arrest, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday. On March 10, authorities detained Namo Phiri and Abel Musonda, journalists at the privately owned broadcaster Millennium TV, while they covered a protest by opposition members at the Civic Center in the capital city of Lusaka, according to media reports and both journalists and station manager Mary Mbewe, all of whom spoke to CPJ via messaging app.  Phiri told CPJ that they were covering the protest when a…Read more